My many modes

Today, as an exercise in self-exploration, I am going to try to enumerate some of the modes in which I function.

I am going to treat them like they are separate and distinct for ease of communication, but please remember that these are but facets of my personality, and I am the gem.

Let’s see. Well, there’s Fun And Breezy Fru.  That’s my mode when I am relaxed and comfortable but not particularly agitated, inspired, or stimulated. In that mode, I respond to what is going on around me but I don’t necessarily engage with the flow of conversation. I just do what I can “social basking”, where I bask in the warm feeling of being around others like they are the sun and I am having a nice day on the beach.

It’s a rare mode, and generally comes from a confluence of factors creating a temporary zone of peace within me, like the eye of a storm.

And while it is a happy mode, it is also fairly dull. Hence its short shelf life. Before, my inherent restlessness will move me to find something more active to do.

Then there’s Professorial Fru, or Didactic Fru.  EVERYone who knows me knows this mode. It’s the mode I get into when I am holding forth on some theory of mine or sharing some knowledge I think is interesting.

In it, I express myself clearly and colorfully but in a mode that uses a more formal vocabulary, sentence structure, cadence, and tone.

It makes me sound a trifle pompous sometimes. I am sure, but it works for me.

And it truly comes naturally to me. Ask my siblings if you don’t believe me. It’s the mode they found so galling when I would use it as a child, and it’s not hard to see why.

After all, I was far younjger than them, and here I was lecturing them!

Sounds adorable to me, but I might be biased.

It’s also the mkode I tend to slip into when writing these blog entries. It is the form my intellectualization takes by default and while it gets the job done, more or less, in that it conveys someting I am trying to convey, it arguably is the primary thing that leads me to wander off on a tangest when I am trying to express something emotional.

I would probably be better off if I could stay out of that mode and stay focused on the emotional message, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

All I can do is drag myself back to the point when I catch myself at it.

And then there’s Silly Fluffball Fru.  Those who mostly know me as a certqain cute and fluffy fox have seen this side of me. The real world, alas. has not.

It is engaged when I am feeling silly and playfully and firmly disinclined to take anything seriously, and as a result, I tend to riff off what people say, clown around, and have fun.

My friends know a version of this mode because that is the mode I am in when I am with them and relaxed and having fun. Being limited by reality, it’s nowhere near the flamboyance and expressivity of the fluffy fox version, but it’s the same idea.

Then, alas, there’s Barely There Fru. That is the mode I am in when there is a lot of heavy weather going on inside me and it is taking up most of my attention and that leaves only the barest shadow of me left to deal with the external world.

I imagine that those who know me end up seeing this mode on occasion. Superficially, I am showing no signs of distress or discomfort. At most I seem dreamy and distracted,. like I am sleepy. But I smile and respond and say everything is just fine.

But anyone with any emotional perception can tell I am not fine and that there is something strange going on with me. My affect is flat and there is a haunted quality to my presence. I seem “weird” to people.

It’s not a good mode. Eighty percent of the time you see me in it, it means I am depressed. The other twenty percent of the time, I am merely preoccupied with deep thoughts on some topic or other.

Oh, and let’s not forget Prosecutor Fru, or Hyper Analytic Fru. This mode engages when I have caught the scent of the truth and I start pursuing it like I am a bloodhound dashing madly after a deer.

It takes the form of my asking questions, more often than not, and if that was all, it wouild not be a problem. But the questions I ask are probing and incisive and delivered too quickly after each reponse, and that tends to make people feel like they are under the microscope and on trial for something.

I don’t mean to offend, I just get carried away by my insatiable curiosity sometimes.

Finally, there is Ship’s Computer Fru, or Robot Fru.  This mode gets activated when I am so engaged in my analytical left-brain thought processes that I lose most of my emotional affect and become almost robotic in how I deal with the world.

Usually, these trips into my  inner machinations are brief and directed at answering a specific question. But there are times when that massive brutal truth machine of mine build up so much power that even when the question has been answered. it is still running at full speed and not willing to shut down and that is when I feel alienated by my own mind, like I am not really in control.

It can be pretty scary. The feeling of power and competence I get when my mind is really ticking over like that can be seductive, and that is what tempts me to try to stay there even though I am also terrified.

Well, that’s enough modes for today. I have dozens more, of course.

Perhaps this article will have a sequel. Perhaps not.

Either way, you know what comes next.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.




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